PositiveID to test new biothreat-detection system

PositiveID will send another of its M-BAND biothreat-detection systems into the field for testing.
PositiveID will send another of its M-BAND biothreat-detection systems into the field for testing. | Courtesy of PositiveID

PositiveID said on Tuesday that it planned to test its latest toxin-detection system, adding to its other M-BAND systems.

The M-BAND, which stands for Microfluidic Bio-agent Autonomous Networked Detector, is capable of detecting six organisms and three toxins listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's category A and B list of select agents.

The company soon could have six M-BAND systems in the field and under evaluation, PositiveID said. Four of the company's M-BAND systems were delivered to the U.S. government in the last half of 2014.

"As we see increased interest from the federal government, specifically the (Department of Defense) and (Department of Homeland Security), in biodetection technologies, we are preparing additional M-BAND systems for deployment to monitor air samples for potential biothreats," William Caragol, chairman and CEO of PositiveID, said. "We believe that procurements for these important technologies will ramp up in 2015, in order to protect our homeland security, both domestically and for our allies and troops abroad."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology division has a $30 million contract with PositiveID to develop the M-BAND. The system analyzes air samples “continuously and autonomously,” the company said, to detect biological airborne threats in as little as three hours. Airborne threats could come in the form of toxins, bacteria and viruses, and as the detection time decreases, it allows for quicker deployment of vaccines and countermeasures, which should help reduce potential casualties, PositiveID said.

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